Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just A Little Walk With Thee

There is a lot of talk about having a "personal relationship" with God these days. And no wonder, for the post-modern generation, those who are presently in their late teens, twenties, and early thirties, relationships are everything. Community, causes, and people are very important to them, affect them, and inspire them.

I read a book recently that stated that the Bible does not say that we are to have a "personal relationship" with God. The author says those words are not in the Bible. And it is true, those words are not there. However, as I was reading recently, the concept is there. The Bible calls it "walking with God" and "friendship."

Abram, Issac, David, Enoch, and Noah. These men, the Bible says, "walked with God." Often for their entire lives. It indicates some sort of close relationship that takes place when you journey with someone towards the same destination.

Abraham was also called "God's friend", according to 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23. Jesus also uses this term to speak of his disciples. He says, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." Does that term not indicate a personal relationship?

Any Biblical concept, however, can be twisted and abused. I have heard some people say that their relationship with God is "personal", and have used this term to explain why they don't need to go to church. It can be used as an excuse to not open up and talk about God. It can be used to shut others down, like they and God are in their own bubble and nothing else is allowed in.

However, an even more prevalent concept in the Bible than friendship is that of community. Worship was done in a group. Confession of sins, and the sacrifices in the temple for those sins, were public. When prophets prayed to God, they most often prayed for the community, the nation of Israel, not for their own personal relationship with God. It was their job! Israel rose together, and it fell together.

Even in the New Testament, the church acted as a whole. Jesus addressed, and judged, churches in John's revelation, not individuals. As a whole, we are the body of Christ. We all need each other.

So for me, I understand my relationship with God on two levels: I walk with God as an individual, and I belong to a church community that can hold me accountable, that I can worship with, and do more for Jesus with than I can do alone. I praise God for his perfect plan, and all his love!

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I previously had that "personal relationship" with God idea in my head. I never went to church or fellowshipped, only closed myself off in my room & studied my bible. I'm glad to say that now i've started going to church and connecting to other Christians that love God as I do. The BEST decision in life! Great Read


Please add to the conversation! I'd love to hear from you.